Nigeria Bandits Kidnap Evangelists

Thursday, April 1, 2021

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - Bandits have reportedly abducted eight Christian evangelists in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna State amid an Islamic campaign of targeted kidnappings.

The Christians were kidnapped after their minibus was stopped on the way from Kaduna city to Kafanchan on March 26, Christians and Nigerian media said.

The minibus – with on its side “Redeemed Christian Church of God” – was reportedly held up at around 7 p.m. local time, about 39 miles (63 kilometers) from Kaduna city. The Christians, all adults, were traveling to Kafanchan on an evangelistic mission, the media said.

Alao Joseph, a spokesman of the church in Kaduna, said in published generous that the incident was reported to the police. He said there was “hope that they will help secure the immediate rescue of the church members.”

Joseph told the media that the kidnappers asked the church for some $125,000 in local currency.

Rights activists say Christians in Nigeria are often targeted for abduction. In January, a church minister was abducted along with his brother and murdered by machete-wielding bandits in Gulu, Niger State, according to Christians familiar with the situation.

Boko Haram Islamist militants abducted another pastor on Christmas Eve 2020 in Pemi, Borno State. He was reportedly held for more than two months before being released on the day militants had said they would kill him.

Abducting civilians, especially Christians, is a significant part of terror group Boko Haram’s activities. Over a thousand children have been kidnapped since the group was founded in 2002, according to the Barnabas Fund advocacy group.